California Judge Rules Against Academic Freedom

In another restriction of academic freedom, a federal judge has allowed the University of California (UC) to continue denying course credit for college preparatory classes to applicants from Christian high schools which use textbooks that reject evolution and declare the Bible to be infallible.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported this week that U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles rejected claims of religious discrimination and the suppression of free expression. The Chronicle stated that Otero’s ruling “focused on specific courses and texts” and “found no anti-religious bias in the university’s system of reviewing high school classes.”1

In a scene eerily reminiscent of other recent academic freedom cases, Otero said that UC rejects the textbooks “not because they contained religious viewpoints, but because they omitted important topics in science and history and failed to teach critical thinking.”

Although not explicitly stated in the Chronicle report, the key “omitted topics” are those that uphold the supremacy of evolutionary theory in all areas of science and history. By denying the validity of alternate theories and perspectives, Judge Otero has essentially declared that atheistic naturalism is the only belief system recognized by the courts in the teaching of American students. And “critical thinking” is inferred to mean “that which only involves variations of evolutionary theory.”

The court’s judgment has serious implications for non-evolution-based teaching systems. “It appears the UC is attempting to secularize private religious schools,” said Jennifer Month, an attorney from Advocates for Faith and Freedom.

A group of Christian schools has appealed Otero’s rulings to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Reference

  1. Egelko, B. Judge says UC can deny religious course credit. San Francisco Chronicle. Posted on www.sfgate.com August 13, 2008, accessed August 13, 2008.

* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.

The Latest
NEWS
Nearby Galaxy Has Almost No Dark Matter
A team of astronomers recently concluded that a nearby spheroidal galaxy, designated as NGC1052-DF2, contains very little, if any, dark matter.1,2 Since...

TESTIMONIALS
Building His Kingdom
Hello, my name is Andrew Infinger, and I work in ICR’s distribution center. As a full-time student and employee, I don’t have much time...

NEWS
Homo naledi had Lucy-Like Hips
Hips can reveal many things about fossilized organisms, especially when it comes to mammals. They can indicate the difference between species and even...

NEWS
Protein Discovery Confirms Design
Fungal infections can be a pain to eradicate. But new results show why these infections can take an even tighter hold on people or animals that are...

TESTIMONIALS
Teaching Children Creation Truth
Hello, I’m Jayme Durant, the Director of Communications at ICR. I homeschooled my four children from kindergarten through high school graduation....